Friday, December 14, 2012

For the Aunts, Uncles and Cousins

Alrighty.  This is super easy.  Super duper.  And that's good if you've got a lot of aunts and uncles on the list.  (Did you hear that aunts and uncles?  Stop reading!!)

It's really the same kind of idea as the story books from yesterday, but with less pages, less drawings, and a shorter plot.

All you need for this little gift is a kid who likes to draw, white card stock, crayons, a pen, a scissors, contact paper, and some kind of box.

1. Direct your child to draw a picture of the aunt, uncle and cousins that the puzzle is for.
2. Make sure to remind him that he should color the WHOLE page.  No one wants to try to figure out a puzzle with multiple blank white pieces.  Have your child tell the story of the picture while you write it on the back.
3. Instruct your child to cut the picture into pieces.  Make sure he knows to make odd shapes, not your typical squares and triangles.  Otherwise you'll end up with a whole puzzle of triangles.
4. I actual don't use contact paper, I use this "peel and stick" brand - it's "laminate" and I like it better - seems more transparent and somehow sturdier.
5. Cut a piece and lay it sticky side up.  Put the puzzle pieces on it. 
6. Cut another piece and lay it sticky side down, sandwiching the puzzle between.

All that's left is for you to cut around the pieces again!  f you "laminate" all the pieces separately, they'll be better protected than if you cover with contact paper and THEN cut.  So, yes, it adds an extra step for you as your 4 yr old is likely unable to recut around the shapes he initially cut with any kind of accuracy.  But it'll be better in the long run.

We practiced putting them together, and even though some of the puzzles ended up with some crazy tiny pieces (accidentally) they were all doable!  Plus, it's like a two in one puzzle, because the front is the picture, but you have to flip it over and do it again if you want to know what was happening!  For instance, if you look at the picture on the left, you probably can't really tell that Aaron, Sarah and Gabe are having a party with a pig who's in the mud and eating a worm cake with candles on it and you can't have a cake without candles and obviously there is a lot of confetti in the air.  You have to turn it over to get the full story.
Slap a label on it and that's that!  It's true that the contact paper does make the pieces a bit slippery.  I may add a bit of felt to the back with hot glue and then put a larger piece of felt in the box for a mat to stick them to. 
And when I say "may" I mean after I complete all of my OWN gifts I have to make for people.  Which means probably not, but I'm trying to fool myself into thinking I am because I'm kind of a closet perfectionist.  I'm also a procrastinator, so it doesn't work out well.

The Breakdown:
Kid Time: Totally depends on how detailed the pictures are and how good they are with scissors.  For us, probably about 10-15 minutes per picture.
Adult Time: This includes guidance with the cutting, putting the pieces in contact paper, cutting them out and making and adding the labels... all told it took about 15-20 minutes.
Total: 25-35 minutes for one.  We spent two afternoons on these - so we made 5 of them in about 2 hours or so.

I can't help it.  The top one is the pig party I already mentioned and the bottom one is my other brother, his wife and their two boys blasting off into space.  There's a comet, Jupiter, Saturn, and a very special star down there in the lower left corner.  He had to explain to me that the window is way too big but it was the only way he could include all four of them...
What a ham.

*Be sure to check the right sidebar for all the fun parties I link to!

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